Online dating

Have you ever had ‘The Ick’?

You’re in a bar, on a date and it’s Saturday night. The lighting is low, the music is good and the drinks are flowing. Your opposite number is everything you thought they would be: intelligent, interesting and attractive. The conversation is easy and the evening looks promising. You start to think this one might be special.  But then you hear their laugh for the first time – it’s a grating string of huh-huh-huh’s – and it’s all over. The attraction flips to disgust and, try as you might, you can’t look at them in the same way. It’s the moment you anticipate but never hope for…It’s the ick. Last week Keir

Can a new dating app stop ‘ghosting’?

Modern dating is a mess: it’s a shallow world of filters, FaceTune and superficial swiping. Across the internet, Gen Z complain that daters flake, catfish, scam, and – most objectionably of all – ghost. A new dating app, Snack, proposes a solution. Snack is described as ‘Tinder meets TikTok’: a place where Gen Zs can film themselves flirting, create content with fun video prompts, and enjoy a ‘more authentic video-first dating experience’. Snack also enables its users to punish those who ‘ghost’ them by leaving them negative reviews. ‘Ghosting’ is rejection without the closure – you’re talking to someone and, suddenly, they stop responding and disappear. Ghost enough times on Snack and you

The healing power of champagne

The day after Catriona was fitted with a plaster cast and crutches, her elder sister arrived from the UK for a rare visit. Marigold is also on crutches. Diabetes. Which left me as the only able-bodied member of the household, though an ethereal one. I try daily ‘to run with determination the race that is set before me’ (Hebrews 12:1). Champagne helps. Our seasonal neighbour Professor Brian Cox has pointed me to a website specialising in getting the produce of small family-run champagne houses to your doorstep within 48 hours at a considerably cheaper price than the local supermarket and very decent it is too. I have a half-bottle at